Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) may have had such a good holiday season that it beat the expected increases due to seasonality. That’s according to the latest data from Cantor Fitzgerald’s Apple Barometer. Analyst Brian J. White reports that last month was stronger than “typical seasonality” after reviewing data from Taiwan’s top suppliers which generate large percentages of their sales from Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL).
Apple’s December expected to be strong
According to White, December sales appear to have fallen about 3% month over month. However, he said that’s much better than the average 10% decline over the last eight years. For the fourth quarter of the year, the preliminary results from their Apple Barometer suggests that sales were “well above” the 13% average increase over the last eight years.
Based on these early numbers, he believes the December quarter will end up being Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s second-best sequential growth for a December quarter in the last nine years.
Apple to increase innovation this year?
Although White notes that 2013 was a difficult year for Apple, he thinks the company will increase innovation this year. He notes that shares of Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) increased only 5% during 2013 and significantly underperformed the S&P 500 Index, which rose 30% during the year. This year though, he thinks things will be different.
He’s expecting the company to enter new product categories—something he and other analysts have been predicting for some time. Specifically, he thinks the rumored iWatch will be launched this year, particularly since wearable computing devices will likely be such a big segment at CES this year.
In addition, he believes Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) could launch up to three different iPhone screen sizes and enter into the phablet segment of the industry. This would be in line with reports we’ve heard over the last several days indicating that there could be two or more new smartphones from Apple this year.
Of course White also predicts that the deal with China Mobile which finally materialized will “re-accelerate growth” for Apple there as well. He continues to rate Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) as a Buy with a $777 per share price target.